News Analysis : MG GS – why the price has to be right…

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Clive Goldthorp

SAIC-Motor-MG-GTS.1-600x400
MG Motor UK has not, as yet, issued any official photographs of the UK-specification
MG GS – this is a Chinese market model

MG Motor UK has recently announced that the marque’s first-ever SUV, the MG GS, will be launched here in June. The new model, which is reportedly the first of three MG-badged SUVs to be based on the all-new SAIC Motor-developed scalable vehicle architecture dubbed SSA (SAIC Scalable Architecture?), has been on sale in China since May, 2015. Indeed, according to the Dutch-based Left-Lane.com website, a total of 43,678 MG GSs were sold in China during the course of last year.

AROnline readers may have already seen the left-hand-drive, Chinese-specification MG GS on show at MG’s flagship showroom in Piccadilly, London, but the first opportunity the British public will have to see a UK-specification model in the metal will be at the London Motor Show from 6 to 8 May 2016 – and, by then, the competition in the J-segment Compact SUV market will have become ever more intense.

Why? Well, since September 2015, Hyundai has launched an all-new, ix35-replacing Tucson, Volkswagen has revealed the second-generation Tiguan, which hits UK showrooms in April, and Kia has, just this month, started taking orders from UK customers for the fourth-generation Sportage. The latter, in fact, provides a real snapshot of just how hot the J-segment Compact SUV niche is at the moment – Kia Dealers placed almost 1500 sold-orders for the model in the first three days…

Moreover, SEAT’s recently-appointed President, Italian Luca de Meo, revealed his company’s first SUV, the SEAT Ateca, in Barcelona last week. The Ateca which, like the new Volkswagen Tiguan, uses the Volkswagen Group’s MQB-A1 platform, will have a showroom launch here in September. Interestingly, in an echo of MG’s apparent plans, CAR Magazine’s Tim Pollard has reported that the Ateca is the first of three new SEAT SUVs and will be followed by a Nissan Juke-rivalling model in early 2018 as well as a larger Nissan X-Trail competitor – possibly with a seven-seat option – before the end of the decade. The latter may be based on the SEAT 20v20 Concept which was first shown at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.

SEAT ATECA 01
SEAT’s just-launched Ateca will reach UK showrooms this September

Ford, meanwhile, is expected to announce a facelifted version of the Kuga either before or at this year’s Geneva Motor Show next month – the Kuga’s US equivalent, the Escape, was updated at the Los Angeles Motor Show last November and the European version is expected to feature that model’s revised front-end graphic with a new, wide-mouthed grille and reshaped tail lights.

MG Motor UK will, given the above, clearly have much work to do in order to ensure that the GS can carve out a significant share of the UK market for J-segment Compact SUVs – after all, everyone of the OEMs already mentioned will be equally keen to knock the market-leading Nissan Qashqai off the top step… The company’s UK sales broke the 3000 barrier for the first time in 2015 – a total of 3157 MGs were registered – and the value-focused Pricing Strategy adopted when the B-segment MG3 was launched back in September 2013 was probably a significant factor in the achievement of that objective – commercial logic therefore suggests that MG might well take a similarly aggressive approach when finalising the Pricing Structure for the GS in the coming weeks.

What, then, are the implications of such an approach? Well, an entry-level, FWD Hyundai Tucson S 1.6 GDi Petrol/Manual has an on-the-road price of £18,995 while the top-spec AWD Premium SE 2.0 CRDi Diesel/Auto has an on-the-road price of £32.695. Volkswagen UK has yet to release any pricing information for the second-generation Tiguan, but informed Automotive Industry sources are suggesting that the entry-level price point might be around £23,000.

However, as the Kia Sportage and SEAT Ateca are, like the MG GS, arguably going to be targeted at the sportier end of the J-segment Compact SUV market, they are probably the most relevant benchmarks for the purposes of MG’s Pricing Strategy. CAR Magazine reckons that the SEAT Ateca will probably have a starting price of around £18,500 when the model reaches the showrooms here this September. Meanwhile, the entry-level FWD Kia Sportage 1 1.6 GDi Petrol/Manual has an on-the-road price of £17,995 and the top-spec AWD KX-4 2.0/182bhp CRDi Diesel/Auto has an on-the-road price of £30,710…

Kia Sportage GT-Line
The Kia Sportage GT-Line might just be the sweet spot in the range –
at least for retail customers

AROnline does not currently have any more up-to-date information about the UK specifications of the MG GS than that found in our News: Updated – More images of new MG GS SUV released in China story from January, 2015. However, a useful comparison can, perhaps, be hypothetically drawn between, say, an AWD Kia Sportage GT-Line 1.6T/174bhp GDi Petrol/Manual and an equivalent MG GS. That version of the Sportage – which, at least for a significant number of retail customers, may just be the sweet spot in the range – has an on-the-road price of £24,350. MG Motor UK might conceivably pitch a similarly-equipped version of the GS powered by the turbocharged 168bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine mentioned in our previous article at that specific model – if such a GS has an on-the-road price of significantly less than £20,000, the company could be on to a real winner.

Andrew Lowerson, MG Motor UK’s then Product Manager, gave a strong hint that the company will adopt a more for less approach with the MG GS’s pricing when speaking to Automotive News Europe’s UK Correspondent, Nick Gibbs – in an article published shortly after the model’s launch in China at Auto Shanghai last April, he stated that “the strategy is to make [the GS] as affordable as possible.” Hopefully, then, the GS’s price will, indeed, be right…

Anyway, any AROnline readers wishing to make their own predictions as to the likely entry-level and top-spec on-the-road prices of the MG GS can do so in the Comments section below – no prizes, though, for anyone who comes up with the correct numbers!

[Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 12:05pm on 16 February 2016 by the inclusion of the penultimate paragraph and the accompanying link.]

Clive Goldthorp

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

61 Comments

  1. Hate to say it but I think this car is going to have fun for the Duster in terms of price if it has any chance at all. They just haven’t managed to raise the profile of MG in the last 5 years to pull off a near £20k model such as this. KIA’s Sportage is on its 3rd or more generation and it has taken some years to get there. KIA and Hyundai both now have a full dealer network and respected profile. They trod the rags to riches route that Skoda travelled before – produce honest, reliable cars for a great price, reel the punters in and slowly evolve the product and image to move ever so slightly up-market. Once you’ve got the retail customer scale to compete with the mainstream brands you can truly compete (forget corporate sales – the earn nothing and do nothing for the reputation – look at Vauxhall”s Insipid and the Ford Mundano) honestly I am expecting an entry price well below £15k, I think they will miss the boat entirely if they don’t get this model pricing right and judging what we’ve seen before there’s every chance their slap-dash marketing strategy will screw it all up.

  2. “J-segment”? Had to Google that one. I think that term refers to larger 4x4s like the X5 and Discovery. These cars are just tall C-segment, aren’t they?

    Anyone who pays £25k for a Sportage is mental. I know the warranty is great, and Peter Schreyer did the styling and blah blah blah, but really? £25k for some crappy small-engined Korean tin can?

    As for the MG GS, I agree with the above comment that this should be a £15k car. Autocar have suggested that a 2.0T engine (with 217bhp!) might be offered on the GS, along with a smaller capacity engine. That would be a nice way for MG to differentiate themselves in the market from all the hamster-wheel engined cars in this segment.

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/2016-mg-gs-suv-arrive-may

  3. Does anybody still care? MG UK have proved themselves to be utterly clueless, the dealer list has seen more departures than Heathrow, and the products thus far have been of highly questionable quality and sold in derisory numbers. I’m surprised SAIC haven’t pulled out for a serious rethink by now, instead of launching another odd looking car on an unreceptive market. Surely this one is the last-chance saloon. Or CUV. Or whatever.

  4. While not my cup of tea, SUVs are where the market is at. They had a GS at the picadilly showroom, a brief look in the window showed it to be modern, and SUV-like, just what people buy these days.

    I’ve noticed MG advertising a bit more, and a few more 3s knocking about now that the NI dealer network has finally stabilised.

    The 3 and the GS could give Dacia a run for their money.

    I actually wonder if they could steal some Sportage sales, the new version is a bit aesthetically challenged IMO, like they looked at an old Subaru Tribeca and thought “Ah ha! That’s the look we want to go for!”

  5. Agree with Andy W about engines. All the competitors have weedy engines so a 2-litre turbo in the MG would be a differentiator. Higher up the market the Porsche Macan is apparently sold out – a broadly similar sized car with proper powerful engines – yet no-one is trying to compete with it at the moment.

  6. Andy W,

    Well, according to our colleagues at just-auto.com’s Product Lifecycle DataBase (PDLB), all SUVs fall within the J-segment.

    However, arguably, SUVs should now just be regarded as an additional bodystyle and classified by length within, say, the B-segment or C-segment as appropriate – on that basis, the MG GS would be referred to as a C-segment SUV.

  7. I consider myself corrected. Who am I to disagree with (in their words) the market leading light vehicle production model database?

    On a separate note, how sad is it that “could give Dacia a run for their money” is seen as a level of performance for MG to aspire to. MG, for goodness sakes! Very depressing.

  8. Although any Crossover / SUV would not be my first choice of car, they do seem to suit many motorists these days with manufacturers devoting more Production lines to building them. The MG GS does look as good as its competitors judging by this photo.

    I read that Ford Europe are to delete some models (MPV’s in particular) and increase production of SUV types. That could mean the end of the B Max & C Max with more Ecosport’s & Kuga’s? I hope the Focus is not under threat!

    • The Focus should be safe as a solid seller, even the Mondeo (surprisingly, given the troubles of the D segment) as a fleet favourite, though the B/C Max SUVs being axed is something of an indicator of the private market moving away from the old Scenic/Picasso style mini-MPV market to SUVs. I remember when the Scenic was introduced, I couldn’t see the point of it. Want a 5 seater? Get a Megane. 5 seats extra space? Megane estate. MPV? Espace.
      Seems I was wrong then, just as I am currently wrong about disliking the SUV craze.

      Hopefully they’ll keep the Mustang on as a niche product for a while at least….

  9. Tiguan is going up in size with the new model (they may even bring a 7 seat version to the UK), that Seat will be its de-facto replacement (as it won’t be sub £20k).

    Have seen a few GS’s, they look quite like Renault Capturs even if they are bigger. But MG need to be aiming at that level (the Captur or the Nissan Joke) so £15s. But does it drive well?

  10. It’s not the asking price consumers need to worry about, it will be the awful residual values the vehicle will have. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe the SUV will sell to anyone other than die hard MG people, who will care little about the money it loses, or that much about what it costs.

  11. The MG is just too ugly. All SUVs are inelegant, but the SEAT and Kia show they can be inoffensive. MG seem to want to drive buyers away by designing horrendous looking vehicles.

  12. I saw 2 buses in Stockport today with MG ads on the side so they seem to be making more effort on the publicity front.

  13. I think it’s got to be cheaper than the SsangYong Korando (starting at £15,995) unless there’s some clever marketing. Talking of which, if SAIC Maxus vans can be sold in Ireland with a 5 year warranty why not MG’s in the UK to improve customer confidence?

    • But the SUV market, like it or loath it (I’m latter) is where the sales are.

      MG needs a ‘Rexton’, as nobody is buying the 6.

      The 3 is selling a bit better, though still in small quantities, and it is difficult to make a profit on a small cheap car.

  14. I don’t like SUV’s personally but that’s where the market seems to be these days.
    MG are painfully slow at almost everything…I saw one of these cars being driven around chippenham approx June last year..?
    By the time this SUV officially appears in the UK, it will be old hat..and the wrong price (too expensive) no doubt.
    I also fail to see how you can sell a new car without effective TV / Web advertising and a credible dealer network…The only MG Motor dealer that ive ever seen in the north west has recently closed down.
    So frustrating, when so many people want success for MG in the UK.

  15. Just a quick point of information on the relationship between SAIC Motor and SsangYong Motor…

    SAIC Motor acquired a controlling 48.9 per cent stake of SsangYong Motor in October 2004 and that was later increased to 51.3 per cent. However, even though SAIC Motor paid SsangYong Motor $45 million in December 2008 to provide short-term liquidity, the company went into receivership in January 2009 and, when that happened, SAIC Motor gave up all management rights. Indian OEM Mahindra and Mahindra Limited eventually acquired a 70 per cent stake in SsangYong Motor and took the company out of receivership in February 2011.

    AROnline understands that, contrary to some earlier reports, SAIC Motor’s SSA architecture is new and has no connection with the platform which underpins the current SsangYong Korando.

  16. If it isn’t then it would raise a rather obvious question to me – why would I buy one over the arguably more handsome looking Seat Ateca?

    Or instead something from Nissan such as the Juke which despite its like-it-or-loathe-it styling, is still assembled in this country and helps to maintain thousands of jobs in what was once an impoverished part of the U.K.

    Styling is a very subjective issue of course, and the MG GS does not do anything for me. In fact it leaves me feeling rather cold and unmoved. Where it is actually made is an even bigger factor for me and if it does not have local assembly input at Longbridge, then I can’t see why it should be viewed to be more important (and potentially desirable) than the Nissan offerings. For me its appeal must go beyond merely the badge on the grille. Sorry.

    • According to Wiki, the GS is actually longer than the Qashqai.

      Unless the GS is a LOT cheaper, I’d take the Qashqai designed AND built in the UK

  17. I had never realised before that what I needed was something in the J segment . Nor had I realised that what I have always lusted after was something with a MQB-A1 platform ( or some such ) , at an extortionate price at that . There is so much marketing speak crap talked about in the motor industry today that it comes as a surprise to me that it has survived as an industry at all . If MG can do any good with this, well, good luck to them , but I hope you will all , including Clive , forgive my scepticism , not only about MG’s future but also about that of the vast majority of manufacturers

  18. Great article, and certainly food for thought. MG is quickly developing into a success story here in the UK, not a day goes by when I don’t see a MG3 – such a great car. This new roadster is bound to be a success, and if priced below £15,000, it will blow the MX5 out of the water.

  19. @car nutter not a chance Logbridge is no more its just a PDI centre this will come in fully assembled from either China or Thailand just like the 3 & 6 currently do.

  20. David,

    Well, if you follow the link to Nick Gibbs’ Automotive News Europe article in the just-added new penultimate paragraph above, you will see he reports that “the MG GS will be built in China and European versions will be assembled from imported kits in the former MG Rover Group factory in Longbridge, central England, alongside the MG3 and MG6.”

    Hopefully, more information about where the MG GS is to be assembled will be disclosed at the UK launch in June…

    Christopher,

    I can forgive your scepticism but, as you may have noticed, I have not contributed any content to AROnline since last April – now is not the time to explain the reasons for that but, as a response to my first article since then, your comment was somewhat disheartening and left me asking myself “why bother?”

    I have always been fascinated by the terminology used within the Automotive Industry and, rightly or wrongly, believe that the use of terms such as J-segment and MQB-A1 not only demonstrates a degree of professionalism but also ensures that AROnline readers are a well-informed bunch! 🙂

  21. Clive : it was not a criticism of you at all , and I apologise if it read that way. It is, however, a criticism of the industry . The most successful manufacturers of the past apparently saw no need to indulge in such an approach . The Beetle, the Mini , ADO16 , Renault R4L , and indeed the original Golf all sold in their millions without references to segments or indeed platforms ! ( although I suppose the Golf was getting close to it with the Audi spinoffs ) . It all really seemed to start in earnest with shared platforms such as the SAAB, Fiat, Alfa venture , and Ford of America’s approach to cost reduction

  22. Christopher,

    No, on reflection, I am probably the one who should apologise for taking your original comment out of context…

    Anyway, as to your main point, I am inclined to agree with you – too many OEMs are creating too many niche models. The BMW X4 and X6 and their competitors are, perhaps, the best examples of that and one does wonder whether such an approach can be commercially sustainable over the longer term.

  23. I remember driving the Kia Pride, Hyundai Elantra and Sonata when working in South Korea, twenty years ago. Then Kia/Hyundai, state-backed Chaebol businesses, were written off in the West, but look at them now.

    What can SAIC achieve with the MG GS, I wonder – Safety, Fast – with the backing of the World’s eighth largest car manufacturer?

    I think that the advance information on the MG GS has been poor. Also they do seem to have the engine that would transform the MG3. This is the SGE 1.5TGI turbocharged direct-injection engine, jointly developed with General Motors. Apparently, there was an embargo on SAIC using this engine until 2016 – so it might happen.

    Anyway, back to the MG GS. I have been driving a Mazda CX 7 petrol since new. There are similarities here with the GS in that it came out just before a recession and tried to challenge the established order. In spite of the CX 7 being judged by Autocar to be second only to the Cayenne, it bombed. (Surprisingly, by Autocar’s own figures, the CX 7 is eight seconds faster around their wet track than a 3 litre petrol turbo Macan).

    This shows you how difficult it is, once you have a winner car on your hands to get it accepted. The styling seemed to do it for the Kia Sportage and, I guess, so did the price and warranty. Here is one approach to follow.

    I am looking for a new car and have found, as another writer says, a range of SUVs with poor engines for high prices. Could MG pull something off, like Aldi, by producing premium quality at affordable prices. For some people, yes, for badge snobs, no. The power of the Emperor’s new clothes and people seeing what they want to see, especially when others supposedly see it, is surprising and exploited relentlessly by car advertisers.

    I have looked online and it does seem as though SAIC and MG are trying to do what what Mazda tried, but by using an Aldi approach – high quality for a reasonable price. The difference is that, unlike Mazda, SAIC are the eigth largest car manufacturer in the world and are already producing VW and GM cars etc. to world standards and know how they are built.

    The surprising thing about the GS seems to be the thoroughness of its engineering. Again the fact is impossible to determine but by researching on line an encouraging series of releases by SAIC and others reveal:

    1. It features China’s most powerful engine, the MGE 2.0TGI in-cylinder direct-injection turbo charged engine of 220 Horsepower and 350 Newton-Metres, giving 36 mpg – superficially, it sounds competitive with the Jaguar Ingenium petrol engine.

    2. The GS comes with a full leather interior – heated front, electric driver and reclining front and rear seats, a sunroof, a TST 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, four wheel drive – engineered by GKN, handling developed by Porsche – with multi-link rear suspension like the Tiguan, not torsion beam like the Kadjar and a 0-100km/h acceleration of less than 8 seconds – what is there not to like? Styling may be Marmite y, but is fresh and could be good with two panel changes.

    3. The front biased, four wheel drive promises the GS superior wet weather handling (like the Golf R and Mazda CX 7 petrol turbo). Whilst ceramic brakes means that the GS 100-0 km/h braking distance of only 36.29m is less than a Porsche 911 Turbo S or Golf R (Motor Magazine (Aust) figures).

    4. The GS achieved a Five star C-NCAP (2015), which tests best selling cars, rather than allowing top of the range model features to enhance results. This is before considering the “fifteen-in-one protection” safety systems, whatever they are.

    5. The GS approach angle of 28°, departure angle of 23° and maximum ground clearance of 185mm sounds better than most soft roaders.

    6. There are some interesting videos, on line, of the GS doing standing starts – demonstrating 0-100km/h acceleration in less than 8 seconds – no special tricks, high speed slaloms through cones, going up 45 degree ramps and easily driving off whilst having diagonal wheels on rollers – the wheels turning on the rollers are not braked, which looks neat.

    7. MG drivers obviously like their cars, with the 2015 Auto Express Driver Power Survey showing the MG 3 at 10th, the MG 6 at 28th and the MG dealers at 8th.

    8. If pricing and equipment is similar to the MG6 – surely the GS is worth a punt at, say, ~£20k whilst also supporting British jobs at MG and GKN.

  24. Sadly, sales of the MG3 and facelifted MG6 (I’m beginning to think they only keep the 6 in the range to make the 3 look like a strong seller!) have proved that price simply isn’t enough to shift MGs in the UK market. The cars aren’t anything like class-leading, and there’s nothing to suggest the GS will be either, they don’t look distinctive or desirable enough (the 3 is a tidily-styled car, but the GS lacks cohesion and its pig ugly from the rear), but probably the main issue will be the marketing (again) – there won’t be enough of it, it won’t feature in the right places, plus it will be very poor quality.

    MG’s current adverts, or versions of them, have been running for two years-ish now, and haven’t produced any real increase in sales. Any clued-up company would’ve changed agencies, changed campaigns, changed message – and kept doing it until they found one that got some traction, but MG keep repeating the same weak press advertisements over and over. What’s the definition of madness again? Part of the problem, and it’s something SAIC have to sort out asap, is that MG haven’t got a clue who they are, and what they stand for, anymore. Fix that and things might slowly start to improve.

  25. Another thing that will, sadly, probably lead to disappointing sales will be a lack of choice: about five colours, one engine and no options – if you’re lucky! Bizarrely, MG Motor seem determined to appeal to as narrow a group of people as possible.

  26. Finston,

    Just a quick note to thank you for sharing the research which you clearly spent some time undertaking – I hope, though, that you will have no objection to me merging your first post with your second one as the latter was a more comprehensive version of the former.

    Hopefully, MG Motor UK will include a top-spec AWD GS powered by the MGE 2.0TGI in-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged engine in the UK model range from launch – the concept of an MG-badged SUV with performance akin to a Porsche Macan and Porsche-developed handling with Aldi-type pricing should have a lot of appeal!

  27. But in that colour it looks,in the top picture, like an morbidly obese Asian Hornet … You can almost imagine it riding a disability scooter. It’s not just ugly, it’s uuuuuugly. Given a three way competition between an allegro, a Nissan Puke and this, the allegro would lose its crown.
    It doesn’t matter how wonderful it is technically, if it’s not appealing visually no one will buy. This makes an AMC Pacer look like a supermodel. And they can’t blame it on the heater this time.

  28. I agree it looks awful, but the Nissan Puke and Cashcow do too. And it doesn’t stop them selling by the bucketload.

    In a way, MGR not having an SUV when they started selling big was why they went bust. They kept making saloons and hatchbacks but Ford ended up with LR, selling loads of Freelanders at a good margin. Also ignoring the HGF of the K series, cost them in warranties and much more in lost sales.

    I don’t like the fakeness of modern SUV’s, but if they make money, make them.

    • Rover may have felt that their hands were tied a little, in that they couldn’t badge a full SUV as a Rover due to the name licencing (BMW licenced the name as part of sale agreement to Ford for LR, to prevent a Rover SUV being launched and causing confusion in the states).

      However, the Streetwise was something of a precursor to some of the smaller “crossovers”, it does beg the question of where they could’ve drawn the line in terms of large vehicles that aren’t proper SUVs.

      It wasn’t just Rover though, the SUV boom caught many manufacturers a little on the back foot. Nissan seemed to time it perfectly, dropping the axe on the Almera and Primera to focus on the Qashqai seemed like a rash move at the time, in hindsight they were pioneering a trend that Honda, Renault etc. have followed.

      Even the big “fleet” two seemed caught out… Ford had dropped the original Maverick and brought over the very American Ford Explorer in the late ’90s, however it was a small niche seller and quietly dropped. The 2nd gen Maverick again didn’t sell well, they took until the Kuga before they finally nailed the “crossover / pretend SUV” bit.

      Similarly, Vauxhall had the Frontera, a rebadged Isuzu, and similarly the Monterey Trooper, but it wasn’t until the Antara that they had a “crossover”.

      At the start of the 20th century, small MPVs were still big sellers – Scenics, Picassos, Zafiras, C-Max. Rover was interested in this space, chasing the old Espace production line, and the TCV looked a little bit MPV – albeit it could’ve easily had a bit of cladding to look “crossover” while big MPV-style hatchbacks tend not to fare well – Vel Satis and Croma, only DS 5 bucking the trend.

  29. I wish they would go back to the MGA & MGB, simple front engine/rear drive roadsters/coupes with style and value. The last ragtop I had was the TR7 convertible – far better than its reputation and I wish I had it now.

  30. The whole MG brand should be a demonstration to the Chinese of what happens when you try to get a car company on the cheap. The returns of the straight investment into MG Rover would surely have been greater by now. They were selling 100,000 cars in 2004. What would MG give for those numbers now!!

  31. I am ready to swap my MG6 for a GS, as long as its a 2.0 petrol auto in a reasonably bright colour. I would like the light coloured seats as well, but fat chance of that!

    What’s that? I can only have a manual 1.5 in grey, goodbye MG !

  32. I am afraid i still maintain that the UK spec MG GS, will, like the MG3 and MG6 before it, launch in the UK with one engine choice, in this case the SAIC/GM 1.5T petrol seen testing on UK roads in the past few months. A diesel will follow but I think the 2.0 petrol is some way off.

    Remember that MG Motor UK sold 3152 cars in 2015 and their head of sales said last year they were targeting 10,000 annual sales by 2020. They are NOT after big volumes.

    Three trim levels will be offered (as confirmed by the email to me from MG today and presumably to all the others who have registered interest in the GS).

    As far as pricing goes, I suggest the entry level 1.5T petrol will be £14,995, the mid ranger £16,495 and the top of the range GS will still undercut the cheapest Qashqai by £500 at £17,995.

  33. I might have been a bit unkind dismissing the 1.5t. Seems it is the new GM unit which is pretty powerful and well regarded. So if it’s available as an automatic, I might give it a go. Light coloured seats please!

  34. @ Austin Metro – I think your price predictions are pretty much spot on. Your comment that they are not after big volumes (10,000 per annum by 2020) says to me that they have a definite long term plan and that all this questioning, criticising of current performance should perhaps stop.

    @ Gentleman, please – “products of highly questionable quality” – Experience speaks louder than words. After 5,750 miles in my MG3 I have absolutely no quality issues to report. Certainly not for a leather trimmed £10,248 on the road price anyway.

    I can see the point that there is far more to support, patriotically speaking, with a Tyne & Wear produced Nissan. However, even if the UK input is no more than an MG badge, Longbridge PDI and, perhaps, a small amount of Longbridge assembly I can’t help but support it. Despite the success of MINI & JLR I still see it as the only surviving element of BLARG.

  35. …. oh, and don’t forget that Longbridge does provide some design input. That maybe quite a small some, but it is still a some.

  36. I think JLR and MINI have legitimate claim to be survivors from the British Leyland survivors.

    The GS looks ok and that sector is popular, so at the right price it may well sell in moderate numbers

    I would rather assembly re-started in the Uk though

    • Absolutely, I’ve argued before, I think it was on one of the MINI threads, that between MG, JLR and MINI we now have a coherent and quality range of vehicles that BL would’ve killed for.

      From small hatchbacks the MG3 and MINI, small coupe/roadsters from MINI, larger coupe/roadster in the wonderful F-type, C segment hatchbacks with the MG6 and MINI 5 door/Clubman, D/E/F segment saloons – again the MG6 straddles the D segment but the XE, XF and XJ have this sown up. SUVs – crossover MINI Countryman/Paceman, MG GS, upcoming F-Pace and the full Land Rover range.

      Yes, Rover are no more, but then if they had survived, following on from the trend of every other manufacturer they would’ve ended up killing off the 75, letting the XE fill that void, and concentrated on crossovers – GS and Countryman. The 25 and 45 morphing into a combination of the MG3/6 and 5 door MINIs.

  37. @ Austin Metro, but wouldn’t you sooner spend the extra £ 500 on a Qashqai, which has been getting excellent reviews, is built in Britain with a large British input and will resell better? MG is just a non starter and even the kit assembly has stopped over here.

  38. Why does news on the pricing of SAIC’s newish (2014) crossover dominate the responses on this site?

    Look at all of the interesting stuff that has happened in genuine UK manufacturing recently; Jaguar have the F Type, the F Pace, the new XF and the XE, MINI have the completely redesigned F56 along with all its variants, even Triumph have launched a clean sheet design Bonneville and a useful reworking of the best selling Explorer, Land Rover are never more than 6 months away from doing something new and genuinely interesting, but nothing excites responses like the possible pricing on an unoriginal, me too, Chinese hatchback.

    Why?

  39. @Tony – You’re so very right. JLR and MINI are most certainly survivors of British Leyland. However, because they were severed before the final end, it’s MGR, MG UK where my feelings are strongest.

  40. John,

    Well, to answer your question, most of AROnline’s Editorial Team are in full-time jobs and we simply struggle to find the time required to provide in-depth News coverage of the British Automotive Industry of the type to which you allude.

    I was the website’s News Editor from September 2007 to July 2011 but had to stand down from that role because of various other commitments. Indeed, the above article is my first contribution since last Easter and was prompted simply by the fact that, with the launch of the GS, MG will, at last, have a contender in the currently hot J-segment Compact SUV market.

  41. Around 50% of new cars purchased by retail customers are sold on PCP sale or return schemes, low deposit then reduced monthly payments, and return / buy after 2/3/4/years.

    When MG announce their PCP terms for the GS, we will have a better idea of the viability of the vehicle.

  42. Today’s Autocar website has a photo if an undisguised GS seen on UK roads. The article only refers to petrol engines…… If they do not have a diesel from the outset it simply will not sell. If MG UK are reading this I would like to know the weight and towing details ASAP……. I am in the market for a new tow car by the end of April…….

  43. Prices of the MG6 announced today entry point is £14995 rising to £20995 for the top model, rather ambitious I thought,

    • Assume you mean MG GS not MG6.

      Agree with you that the price needed to be closer to the Dacia Duster than to the Qashqai (which starts at £18k).

      Base price is £14,995, but the next model up is a £2500 jump to £17,495. You need that one if you want Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. It staggers me that Bluetooth is not universal on all cars these days; it is a basic safety feature. How much extra does it cost the manufacturer to add that functionality? 50p?

      http://www.carbuyer.co.uk/news/148169/mg-gs-suv-prices-specifications-announced.

  44. Its not just the price has to be correct, its the advertising too.

    If its advertised in the epilepsy inducing way the 3 & 6 have been (seemingly a campaign designed for 4 year olds), then it’ll put people off.

    If its advertised as a good option for other competitors, by someone whose creative director isnt mainlining ritalin, it might do ok.

    And the Porsche tuned suspension malarky just rings bells for anyone who remembers the original Protons… suspension by Lotus, bodywork by GoreTex.

  45. Why did I choose an manual, 200 BHP, 1.6 Petrol Turbo, Astra K SRI NAV Sports Tourer?

    I became aware of GM’s newly developed SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection ) Petrol Turbo engines – having already owned a car with one of the first generation engines of this type – a Mazda 256 BHP, 2.3 litre DISI (same as SIDI but reversed) Petrol Turbo engine, specifically designed to out accelerate conventional 3 to 4 litre petrol engined cars (in a Mazda CX7, 0-60 mph in 6.8 secs – second only to the Porsche Cayenne when the CX 7 was released in 2007 – it was the most popular SUV in Russia and Australia and won ten awards for low pollution in Japan). My CX 7 had been totally reliable for me with low servicing costs. This engine’s block is the one used in the latest 2016 Ford Focus RS.

    Having had a great Sports SUV, I wanted the space and pace of an 4.7 metre Sports SUV, but without the £7 to £12k markup being asked by most manufacturers of SUVs.

    I did not want many of the features being offered by many brands – things like: key-less car entry (security issues here), push button starting, 18 to 20 inch tyres – done that, electronic handbrake (various roll away and other issues here), run flat tyres, self parking, cold leather seats – done that, engines that remember how you drive, ridiculous double pull door opening on BMWs, dowdy colours like VW and Audi’s, high servicing costs of Premium brands – done that, non opening panoramic sun roof, fiddly screen controlled secondary services – A/C etc., handbooks only available online like Volvo’s, screens instead of proper instruments, excessive safety aids, cars that have looked the same for ages, excessively downsized engines, a long bonnet, tricky to get into rear seats like a Jaguar XE, cars that bash your head as you get into the driver’s seat, cramped cars like a small or medium Lexus, engines that shut down cylinders or do other things when they feel like it.

    I did want a car with a petrol turbo SIDI engine (fewer pollutants), manual so I was in control – not the car, a zippy engine with loads of torque – which doesn’t make a fuss on acceleration – and just delivers, an opening sunroof, a built in SatNav, an actual spare wheel, a manual pull up handbrake, heated seats and steering wheel, fog lights, mud flaps, a decent colour selection, tinted rear windows, a fresh design, all round parking sensors, a Tax band around £140 (which even sub 100 g/km cars will pay next year), a low insurance group – not Group 33 like a lot of modest performance SUVs and I also fancied a local dealer so I could walk home from leaving it for servicing rather than servicing being a whole day event.

    I toyed with the idea of getting a SAIC built MG GS – manual, four wheel drive, with a 217 HP two litre DISI turbo petrol engine and all the bells and whistles – mainly to see what Chinese built cars were like. It looked good on paper – but MG did not bring that model over. Anyway, SAIC brought out, in Summer 2016, a far better looking and “Internet Connected” Roewe RX5 – again with manual or Double Clutch Gearbox, four wheel drive, the 217 HP two litre DISI turbo petrol engine and all the bells and whistles for ~£20k – just before the MG GS was launched in the UK. I would have had one of these Roewe RX5s, if they had been available in the UK.

    I looked for alternatives, viewing the Ssangyong Tivoli (nice, but with a modest petrol engine and no petrol engine available for the Tivoli XLV) and the Renault Kadjar (similar styling to CX7 – same designer – but overpriced and with a rather small petrol turbo engine).

    Late in the day I came to my local Vauxhall Dealer and picked up and studied the blurb on the new Astra K, which I had read about in Autocar and knew was European Car Of The Year. I organised for a test drive of the 1.4 petrol manual and auto and a 1.6 Sports Tourer, if possible (the dealer had only seen one 1.6 at this time).

    On test drive day I drove the first 1.4 Turbo Petrol, Auto, Elite Sports Tourer that the dealer had had. I was smitten by the sharp looks, good access, good forward sight lines, space to match my CX7 and the way it drove. I quickly ordered the manual, 200 BHP, 1.6 Petrol Turbo, Astra K SRI NAV Sports Tourer – to give me 0-60 in 7.2 sec pace, 35 to 40 mpg, 146 g/km, £145 annual car tax – and which, with my options, gave me all of what I was looking for less than the price I had paid for my CX 7 nine years earlier. The bargain of the century, with well presented and selectable driving aids – resulting in a group 19 Insurance for a 146 mph car – it even includes an on board WiFi router and OnStar remote diagnostics and instant Personal support! Better still Vauxhall were fourth in the latest UK car reliability survey by J D Power behind Skoda, Kia and Suzuki and the Astra Sports Tourer is built in the UK at Ellesmere Port. Surprisingly my Astra K Sports Tourer, seats down. carrying capacity is more than 100 litres larger than that of the £37k, Volvo V90 estate which is 200 mm longer!

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